Cash transfer programKenya's Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (CT-OVC)

Year Programme Began:2004
Implementing Ministry:Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Children's Services
Target Group:Poor households with OVC
Approximate Reach (as of 2015):250,000 households

The Kenya Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (CT-OVC) is the government’s flagship social protection programme, implemented by the Children’s Department of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development, reaching approximately 240,000 households nationwide as of 2014. In response to a concern for the welfare of OVC, particularly AIDS orphans, the Government of Kenya, with technical and financial assistance from UNICEF, designed and began implementing a pilot program in 2004. After this successful demonstration period, the CT-OVC was formally approved by Cabinet, and integrated into the national budget.

The objective of the programme is to provide regular cash transfers to ultra-poor households living with OVC to encourage fostering and retention of children and to promote their human capital development. Eligible households receive a flat monthly transfer of 2000 Kenyan shillings (approximately USD $21), adjusted up from 1500 in 2011-2012 to account for inflation. An OVC is defined as a household resident between 0 to17 years old with at least one deceased or chronically ill parent, or whose main caregiver is chronically ill. Beneficiary households are informed that the care and protection of the resident OVC is their responsibility for receiving the cash payment, however there are no punitive sanctions for noncompliance with this responsibility (the transfer is unconditional).